Top critical review
Repetitive & not helpful
27 December 2018
After losing one of the twins 4 years ago, I’ve been keen to understand what causes infant loss prior, during, shortly after birth. UK has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in Europe.
Also, I’ve looked for words to give to those who want to speak to you after the loss of a baby. Personally, I can’t find them in me to pass on. Neither, it seems, can Elle.
This is not meant to be a novel so the amaterurish writing style, which made reading this book quite annoying because it just didn’t have a flow, can just about be understood.
Elle’s judgement of others is quite vulgar. People don’t know what to say, which is why they do it any way they can, sometimes saying nothing at all. People may have experienced a loss themselves in the past (miscarriage, loss of a relative, loss of a baby) and don’t want to go there, some prefer to be left alone during their grief (as Elle herself points out) so choose to give that space to the person going through hell. Elle, however, judges people if they say something or nothing, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I thought the point of the book was to make others understand what to say?
Apart for Teddy’s cause of death which only is given as a sentence, possibly two if you count the bit where she says they (parents) were tested. How prevalent are these outcomes? How to spot the signs? Etc., etc. Nothing. You’d think that since the small birth weight is mentioned, she’d go back and talk about that, to warn other expectant mothers who maybe worried, to keep an eye (or ask their medical team to) on the baby’s growth etc etc. Nothing.
A LOT about how happy she is watching fundraising amount going up on the JustGiving page, which repeats in different sections, same thing written in other words. Not any tips given on how to do it befitting your circumstances, that’s IF you feel you’d like to do it (sorry, if you’ve a normal job and no social media presence, you’re a nobody, it seems).
Losing a child or anyone isn’t something that you ever forget or *really* overcome, but you do move on. The the person missing from your life becomes a part of it in other ways. Of course you think about them.
Elle has made her grief, her loss into her life purpose. I’m not sure it’s the best advice to give to recently berieved parents.
Of course the loss is devastating, it changes you and your reality. To say it’s horrible would be an understatement. My twins were a result of IVF after 4 previous attempts and miscarriages. Grief hits you so bad that you don’t want to open your eyes in the morning.
For me it took a just over a year to heal towards becoming more less normal, if I can use that word. The ‘getting there’ process was horrendous, from the initial shock to the system, to zombie like existence, to withdrawal, severe anxiety attacks. It was a case of putting one step in front of the other after some period of numb standstill. Grief is very consuming. It’s mind altering. I get that.
However, becoming a version of a forever grieving queen Victoria who does yoga is not what I’d have wanted to be now, nor advise others to aim to become trapped in grief forever.